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Women’s Gymnastics Doctor Sent to Prison for Sexual Assault

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Women’s Gymnastics Doctor Sent to Prison for Sexual Assault

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

Kimberly Flores, Staff Writer

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Larry Nassar, a man with a 30 year career working as a sports physician and treating athletes on the U.S.’s women’s gymnastic team, is being sent to prison for the sexual abuse of a plethora of female gymnasts.

After hearing 156 statements from young women and girls detailing the sexual assault they received from Nassar, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced him to a minimum of 40 and a maximum of 175 years in prison.

The abuse of the first girl whose name remains anonymous took place in 1994 – the abuse Nassar put many women through went on until 2016 where allegations began to be taken seriously. The sexual assault of these women went on for 22 years where many times the gymnasts were not taken seriously after reporting Nassar. Michigan State University’s coach, Kathie Klages, told two different girls to not share their stories of Nassar abusing them because it would cause too many problems.

Klages was not the only person that ignored the gymnasts’ accounts of their experiences. John Geddert, the United States’ gymnast coach, ignored many of gymnasts’ claims about Nassar. Also, MSU did not address the reports from multiple student-athletes against Nassar. Ignoring the claims, led to each consequences for all that ignored the problem.

In January of 2017, a federal lawsuit against Nassar, MSU, USA Gymnastics, Kathie Klages, and Josh Geddert was filed by eighteen victims. Over the next year, the number of victims willing to share their experience grew to 156, Kathie Klages was suspended from MSU and then retired, Josh Geddert resigned, MSU would be accused of hosting a sexually hostile environment, the MSU president and athletic director resigned, and the entire USA gymnastics board was forced to reign.

The ending of this tragic situation is due to bravery of the 156 women who endured sexual assault and push from many sides to stay quiet but still spoke out against Nassar.

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse, said “May the horror expressed in this courtroom over the last several days be motivation for anyone and everyone, no matter the context, to take responsibility if they have failed in protecting a child, to understand the incredible failures that led to this, and to do it better the next time.”

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Women’s Gymnastics Doctor Sent to Prison for Sexual Assault